Mademoiselle From Armentières

Tuesday, February 23, 1915

March to Armentières  

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Left Flêtre 8 a.m. marching via Meteren and Nieppe.  During halt in Nieppe British Officers billeted there asked H.Q. officers to lunch with them.  Passed Gen. Pultney and staff on road. He scrutinized the battalion closely as it passed him and asked numerous questions.  Pavé troubling the men, but no stragglers.  Arrived Armentières in the afternoon.  Battn. H.Q. and Nos. 1 and 2 Companies billeted in the Asylum, Nos. 3 & 4 in large warehouse in town.  Transport and Q.M. in other end of town.  Rather inconvenient.  Attached to 17th British Brigade, Brig.-General Harper, Bde. Major Seagrave.”    [1]

23 Feb 15_ATHIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY:  “Mademoiselle from Armentières was a song that was sung during World War I. It is also known by its ersatz French line, Hinky Dinky Parlez-vous (variant: Parley voo). It was considered a risqué song. The tune of the song was believed to be popular in the French army in the 1830s, and the original words told of the encounter of an inn-keeper’s daughter, named Mademoiselle de Bar le Luc, with two German officers. During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the tune was resurrected, and again in 1914 when the Old Contemptibles got to know of it…

23 Feb 15_BOne of the most successful wartime songs, the words of Mademoiselle From Armentières, were often modified, invariably with somewhat cruder lyrics…

The tune is the third part (the first two being “Has Anyone Seen the Colonel?” and “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary“) of the regimental march of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.”   [2]

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Feb 23, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[2]    Wikipedia contributors, "Mademoiselle from Armentières," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed December 8, 2014).



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